Main Line Commodore User Group

Newsletter


October 2011 Issue 353

VILLANOVA UNIVERSITY, ST. AUGUSTINE, ROOM 110

MEETING STARTS - 09:30 – OCTOBER 8th

UPCOMING MEETING

MAIN MEETING TOPIC: ROUTER CONFIGURATION & SECURITY
(WITH FOCUS ON VERIZON'S ACTIONTEC MI424WR ROUTER)

It seems it's been a long time since we've talked about routers. I think the last time we did we spoke about customizing the firmware of a Linksys router.

This time we thought we would talk about router configuration as it relates to router & network security. Since many of us have Verizon FiOS service, I thought it appropriate if many of the examples focused on the Actiontec MI424WR router provided by Verizon. Though the focus will be on this Verizon supplied router, the general concepts are also applicable to other routers too, but their configuration menus will look entirely different.

We'll discuss the Organizationally Unique Identifier, changing your router's default UID & PWD & Wi-Fi encryption, disabling Wi-Fi & UPnP & SSID, limiting Wi-Fi protocol support, and assigning static IP's. And, we'll show you how to use Belarc and other methods to access your router's web interface and talk about limiting router configuration access to only Ethernet connected devices.

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ANNOUNCEMENTS & REMINDERS

1) Club membership entitles you to receive a hard copy of the newsletter and access to our email list server, which is run for the benefit of our members. Please do not hesitate to post club and computer related notices and problems to it. If we can’t solve your problem remotely, we can be alerted to it ahead of the monthly meeting where more hands-on may help resolve your problem.

2) A few of the regular attendees usually partake of lunch at the Campus Corner Restaurant near the intersection of Routes 30 and 320 just off the Villanova University campus. So, after the meeting, why not join us? It’s an opportunity to get more help and to discuss our common interests.

3) Help MLCUG go “Green”. We issue this newsletter by both electronic means through our email list server and in hardcopy format. If you find yourself not reading the hardcopy, PLEASE inform John D, the editor, so that you will only receive the electronic version.

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LAST MONTH’S MEETING

Attendance: 9 people in all attended the meeting on Saturday, September 10th.

Main Meeting Q&A: We began last month’s meeting with our normal round of questions and announcements. Among the questions and announcements:

Tom J - * Spoke about his purchase of a USB hub PCI extender card for his desktop. He noted improved performance of his USB peripherals. Rich T - * Showed us his new $480 Android Toshiba Thrive tablet. It's thicker than an iPad and several other competing tablets, but due to it's thickness it sports many conventional connector ports which enhance its capabilities. http://us.toshiba.com/tablets/thrive/10-inch/ Layton F - * Spoke about his recent storm damages which included downed power lines and a disruption of his Verizon FiOS service. Peter W - * Showed his new ~$400 Eee Pad Transformer tablet which comes with a physical keyboard docking station for those who may want occasional full keyboard productivity for their tablet. This tablet is much thinner than the Toshiba shown by Rich (see above). http://promos.asus.com/US/PR_2011/Transformer/index.html Ed C - * Had questions about uninstalling Windows applications that don't show up in Windows program management Control Panel. Al G suggested using the Revo Uninstaller software. There is both a FREE & paid version of this software at http://www.revouninstaller.com/ NOTE: Not all programs require an uninstall process for proper removal from Windows OS. Some programs are like portable apps which can be directly removed from Windows OS without an uninstall process. * Asked about the cheap ~$100+ tablets. What makes these tablets so cheap is their less capable touch screen performance which is based on technology different from the more reputable higher priced tablets.

Main Meeting Program: John M led the main presentation. The topic of this presentation was the capture and conversion of analogue video to digital format with the focus being on converting video tape content such as VHS to digital video files. However, the as presented process could be used with any device that output video over a either a composite (yellow RCA connector) or S-video connector. To capture the accompanying audio requires a device with stereo RCA connector (red & white for right & left channel) analogue output.

To do the basic capture and conversion, John used one of the analogue to digital video conversion devices produced by Grass Valley. In this demo he used their ADVC110 converter which is currently available for somewhat over $200. http://www.grassvalley.com/products/advc110 This converter requires a Firewire (IEEE-1394) connection to your computer.

Grass Valley produces a family of converters - some with and without capture software & some are Mac computer specific. Most are compatible with both Mac & Windows. Prices range from $130 to almost $500. See http://www.grassvalley.com/products/advc_professional_family

Since the 110 model converter does not include software, John opted to use the relatively dated and simplistic WinDV software for Windows to capture the digital stream from the 110 to disk. http://windv.mourek.cz/ The resulting AVI file grew large rather quickly as it accrued at a somewhat variable rate around 200MB to 250MB per minute when capturing a SD quality VHS video.

Other software besides WinDV can be used to capture and record the digital stream from the converter, but WinDV is likely the simplest and most intuitive to use under Windows. VLC, Adobe Premiere, Lightworks, and Windows Live Movie Maker are some of the software that could be used instead of WinDV. These other software typically offer more control of the resulting video file format and compression and are thus more complicated to setup initially compared to WinDV. They also typically include tools for post processing of the captured video like trimming and linking files. Trimming is useful for removing unwanted content like commercials.

Since the resulting file from WinDV is so large, John noted it is likely advisable to post process the video file with something like Handbrake to reduce the file size. In his demo, John was able to reduce the WinDV video file about 20 fold. NOTE: Handbrake is essentially a front end to VLC. So, using Handbrake for post processing requires that VLC is also installed on your computer.

Advanced Session Meeting Program: We had tentatively scheduled a demonstration of Livestream's Procaster Internet TV broadcasting software, but the demo was cancelled due to lack of time since the main presentation took almost 2 hours. This was to be a follow-up/comparison to last month's Ustream Producer demo.

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MEETING RELATED SIDEBAR

This section contains web links & other info related to some of the subjects we discussed during our round table discussions and main presentation.

WinDV - (FREE) is a small and easy to use Windows application for capturing videos from DV device (camcorder) into AVI-files and for recording AVI-files into DV device via FireWire (IEEE 1394) interface. Capturing is very reliable thanks to use of large buffer queue.

Timestamps recorded on DV tape by camcorder can be used to automatically split captured video into multiple files.

Development of WinDV has been stopped. DV format is getting superceded by MPEG4 HD video, so further development of WinDV makes no sense. http://windv.mourek.cz/

Windows Live Movie Maker - (FREE) With Windows Live Movie Maker, you can quickly turn your photos and videos into polished movies. Add special effects, transitions, sound, and captions to help tell your story. And sharing with friends and family is easy—whether on the web, a computer, TV, mobile device, or a DVD.

Add your photos and videos Import photos and videos from your PC or camera into Movie Maker to start making movies.

Edit the video Make your movie look like you want it to, with editing tools that let you easily trim, split, and speed up or slow down your movie. Edit the audio Add and edit your movie's soundtrack. Adjust the volume, fade music in or out, and more. http://explore.live.com/windows-live-movie-maker

Livestream Procaster - (FREE for Mac & Windows)

Features Record & Play We record directly in the streaming service so your shows are available immediately for on-demand viewing. Broadcast Your Camera Use any camera or webcam connected your computer. Support for Firewire, USB and video input cards. Broadcast Your Screen If it's on your screen it can be a live stream. Powerpoint, web browsing, even video and audio! Highest Quality The best quality live streaming possible, supporting 16:9, HD, and auto-adapting framerate. Mix in Realtime 2D/3D Mix multiple inputs like a professional TV studio. Includes picture-in-picture and real time 3D layouts. Chat Fully moderated real-time chat in all your players. Promote Grow your audience by sending a tweet when you're live. http://www.livestream.com/platform/procaster

Grass Valley's ADVC110 High-Quality Analog/Digital Video Converter

The ADVC® professional family supports virtually any professional video conversion need. Each contains the innovative Canopus® DV codec technology, which provides the industry's best picture-quality preservation during analog/DV conversion.

The ADVC110 unit connects to all analog and digital video cameras, decks, and editing systems. This portable and easy-to-use digital video converter is ideal for capturing and outputting analog video from any FireWire (IEEE 1394a)-equipped notebook or desktop computer. There are no drivers to install, and the unit does not require a power supply when used with a 6-pin FireWire (IEEE 1394a) cable.

Key Features

* Connects analog video equipment to FireWire (IEEE 1394)-equipped computers for video editing * Compatible with Windows and Macintosh operating system-based DV editing systems * Compatible with leading editing and DVD authoring applications including Grass Valley™ EDIUS®, Sony Vegas, Apple Final Cut Pro and iMovie, Avid Xpress DV and Liquid, Adobe Premiere Pro, Ulead MediaStudio Pro, and Windows Movie Maker * No drivers or software applications to install * Powered by FireWire (IEEE 1394) connector (ADVC55 and ADVC110 only) * NTSC and PAL compatible http://www.grassvalley.com/products/advc110

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DIRECTIONS FOR ST. AUGUSTINE CENTER MEETING ROOM Meetings are in the St. Augustine Center at Villanova University. The regular monthly sessions meet in Room 110.

Enter from the ITHAN AVENUE main gate, then proceed to the upper level of the 2-level parking building adjacent to the St. Augustine Center, on the Ithan Avenue side of the building. NOTE: maps on our web page - http://micug.org/

 MLCUG Meetings Schedule        Steering Committee Meetings
    October 8					October 12
    November 12					November 16
    December 10					December 14
EDITOR: John W. Deker, Jr. 2210 Lantern Lane, Lafayette Hill, PA 19444-2211 Produced with HP-P6267C: 2.5GHz 4-Core Q8300, 8GB RAM, 750GB HDD, Brother HL-5370DW laser printer, CD-RW/DVD±R/RW drive, Windows 7 Professional 64-bit OS, MS Office XP, Bullzip PDF Printer software
MLCUG LISTSERV:		for members only...
OUR WEB PAGE:		http://mlcug.org/
PUBLICITY:		Position OPEN!
VILLANOVA SPONSOR:	Prof. Frank Maloney, Dept. of Astronomy

MLCUG STEERING COMMITTEE;
PRESIDENT: John Deker 	        610-828-7897	
V.PRESIDENT: Al Gottlieb  	215-793-9725
TREASURER/SEC: John Deker 	610-828-7897	
WEBMASTER: Peter Whinnery 	610-284-5234	
DATABASE: Layton Fireng	        610-688-2080
AT LARGE:  Tom Johnson	        610-896-2434	
AT LARGE:  Wendy Emery	        215-765-3328
AT LARGE: Nelson Schrock	610-834-0117
AT LARGE: John Murphy		610-935-4398